Film Folk: Yoshitaka Goto

Location: Gifu City, Japan
Genre: Lomography
Camera count: 13
Film stock of choice: Kodak, Fuji, Lomography, Agfa

Tell us about your path to becoming a photographer.
It’s too long a path to tell to you, haha. I used to be a digital SLR user until 2008 but since I discovered Lomography, I have become a film photographer/lomographer. I had always shot with film, and then a gallery owner discovered me and gave me the opportunity to hold solo exhibitions. On the other hand, my work was often chosen for competitions, so me and my photographer were known not only Japan but worldwide.What do you primarily shoot with and why is it your weapon of choice?
I use my Lomo LC-A+ mainly. There are a few reasons I love it, but first of all, the camera has a unique lens accessory “Splitzer”. It’s a kind of lens masking accessory and it makes me crazy…I’m addicted to multiple exposures and this camera is good for shooting these. Another big reason is the size; LC-A+ is a compact camera and made of plastic. Small and light are important for active Lomographers who are Lomography camera users.

What sparked your interest in lomography and when was the first time you picked up a LC camera?
It was 2008 and I was only shooting digital. I found a photo book that only published film photography and it included many photos by Lomography cameras. It was super impressive to me because I’d never seen such crazy photos – multiple exposures, cross process development, multiple lens cameras. I checked out the cameras and went to a camera shop and that’s how it all began. 

Your double exposures are unbelievable. How did you master the craft of getting the perfect alignment and combination?
Trial and error. Even now I’ll fail at it. In the case of double exposures by self film swap (making double exposures by the reattachment of film), I often record what I shoot in each frame first, and then I shoot the second time while referring to the record. Sometimes I don’t record it because I expect and hope for  accidental works!

Do you have any tips for someone wanting to try double exposure for the first time?
Imagine – but not too much! Just shoot and have fun!! There are no rules for double exposure!!

When was the last time you picked up a digital camera? 
I’m a freelance photographer so my clients request for me to shoot digital – I have to do it and shoot it often. But in regards to artwork, I haven’t used it in more than ten years.

You’ve been in and held an incredible amount of exhibitions, what does 2019 hold?
I’ve recently held a solo exhibition in Japan and I’ll have another solo exhibition at Kyoto in May or June. Then I’ll join an art event “WONDER FOTO DAY” at Taipei in April.

I’ve held many solo exhibitions in the year, but almost of them were organised by the galleries. Tell us about the most interesting person/place you’ve photographed or project you’ve worked on.
Hong Kong is the most interesting place to shoot for me because as a double exposure shooter, Hong Kong has many materials to work with. Unbelievable skyscrapers, tons of people, nostalgic trams, beautiful night neon signs. Especially the skyscrapers, they are the most important for me to make my double exposures.

I also have many local friends who use Lomography cameras. Raymond Chin who is good at shooting portraits and Jeremy Cheung who is good at shooting street photos. They are famous photographers in Hong Kong. I always meet them when I go there and they are also models for my double exposures.

Who inspires you in the photography world?
Not a person, it’s Lomography.

If you don’t have a camera in your hand, what will we find you doing?
I’m a traveler.

Show us your most loved photograph captured on film.
This double exposure was shot in Hong Kong (upper half) and Japan (lower half). This was my first self film swap, but I succeeded! To tell the truth, when I shot the first photo in Hong Kong, I didn’t record what I shot because I shot buildings only on all upper half frames in Hong Kong – so I didn’t have to record it. But the results were so wonderful! I couldn’t believe them. Especially this double exposure, this one is my masterpiece.You can only shoot with one camera, one lens and one film stock for the rest of your life. Which do you choose?
Lomo LC-A+ and Kodak E100VS

Check out more of Yoshitaka’s work on his website and follow him on Instagram.

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